How To Stop Feeling Guilty Or Stressed Out About Blogging

Author, writer and blogger Robbie Cheadle recently published a blog post that asked the question ‘How Do You Keep Up With Your Blog?

The title of Robbie’s post intrigued me, and I immediately clicked to read it.

To me, ‘keep up with your blog‘ made it sound like a bit of a chore; something no blogger should ever feel about blogging.

However, in the post, Robbie describes some of the struggles she faces not only writing and publishing blog posts but also with reading and leaving comments on other blogs.

By the time I read the post, many other bloggers had already left comments, and many made as compelling reading as the post itself. 

A call for help?

Some of the comments mentioned how stressed out and guilty people felt because they couldn’t keep up with reading and leaving comments on all the blog posts of the blogs they follow.

Other comments mentioned ‘skimming’ blog posts (especially long blog posts) because they didn’t have the time to read everything. To me, this made reading those posts sound as if the reader was on some kind of time-trial where they had to read and comment on a certain amount of blog posts within a particular time.

  

#time #blogging #bloggingtips
Photo by Stas Knop on Pexels.com

I also got the impression that some readers left short comments because they didn’t have enough time to leave longer comments, which may have given Robbie lots more feedback and answers had they done so.

Why did you start a blog?  

One of the reasons why I decided to take up blogging was because I thought it would be fun and enjoyable. Some of the comments left on Robbie’s post didn’t sound as if bloggers were enjoying blogging. 

I’ll be the first to admit that I have found myself stressed out and feeling guilty because I wasn’t able to keep up with all the new blog posts published by the bloggers I was following. It was a low point on my blogging journey. 

Some days, I was finding myself doing little else but reading and leaving comments on blog posts. 

Some of the bloggers I followed were publishing more than a few blog posts a day. I soon found myself apologising to people for not reading their posts or for not being on WordPress 24 hours a day! 

But did anyone care or expect an apology from me? I don’t think so.   

So I know exactly how some of the bloggers who left those types of comments on Robbie’s post were feeling.

At that low point in my blogging journey, I knew that I had a choice to make. I either had to give up blogging or change the way I was blogging. 

#blogging #bloggtips
Photo by Athena on Pexels.com

Blogging had become a chore, and I saw my blog as a monster that was doing everything it could to make me want to fight it.

I dreaded switching on my computer every morning to see the overwhelming numbers of new blog post notifications. 

All of this had to end.

The turning point

While thinking about what I should do, it struck me that I was not doing the main thing that I’d come to WordPress to do – to write!

Although I like to believe I have a few super-powers, I’m afraid that one of them is not being able to read every single new blog post from all the bloggers I follow.

And you know what? Just about every single blogger I know thinks precisely the same thing. 

It didn’t take me long to make my choice. After all, I’d created my blog so that I could write, have fun, and enjoy the experience of being a blogger.

I decreased my reading time and began to write more.

#winner #writing #competition

I stopped following back every single blogger who followed my blog. If they didn’t have an ‘about me’ page (so I could find out more about them) or they blogged about subjects that did not interest me, then I didn’t follow back. 

Best of all, I didn’t feel guilty for not following them back. Why waste my time reading something that doesn’t really interest me? I wouldn’t read a book that didn’t interest me, so why a blog?

Always follow a blog for a reason, other than just because they followed you

When we follow a blog, we do so because we enjoy reading most of its content. Therefore, when somebody new follows my blog, I know the reader has at least enjoyed reading some of my content (or so I like to think).

Hopefully, they’ll also occasionally engage with me by sometimes leaving me some comments. 

As time went on, I also began to unfollow bloggers who changed the content of their blogs or whose content I didn’t particularly find interesting to read anymore. It happens, so get over it.  

I didn’t feel guilty doing this. It freed up valuable time for me; time which I could spend writing and supporting those bloggers whose blog content I find interesting and which motivates me to leave comments.

#bloggingtips #blogging
Click the above image to find out how to get readers to leave comments on your blog.

If you find yourself in a situation where blogging is making you feel guilty or is stressing you out, ask yourself some of the questions I asked of myself.

Are there any magic answers?

I’m afraid there’s no magic answer. What worked for me may not work for you but, whatever you do, ensure you do all you can to make blogging fun again.

Isn’t that the reason why you started a blog in the first place?

Take control of both your blog and your blogging habits and stop feeling guilty or apologising for not always being around. 

You may lose some followers along the way (don’t we all?), but it’s not going to finish you off as a blogger. And who cares if they lose a few followers along the way? It happens to all of us. 

In fact, some of those who do unfollow you probably don’t comment or read your blog posts anyway. Don’t worry about losing them. 

How to save yourself some extra time

Only read the blog posts that interest you. Avoid skimming blog posts, because it’s likely that you’re not enjoying reading them anyway. Save yourself some time and move on to the next post rather than read half a post and leaving empty and meaningless comments on it.

Remember – Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.

Never feel that you are obliged to read every single blog post of the blogs you follow. I don’t know any blogger who thinks that all their followers must read and comment on every new blog post they publish.

Never force yourself to read blog posts. If you don’t feel like reading or writing them, then don’t. Spend your time doing something else. Forcing yourself to do something you don’t want to do will only make you resent what you’re doing.

Are long posts worth reading? 

Of course they are. Don’t be put off by the length of long blog posts. Just because they’ll take longer to read doesn’t mean they’re not going to be interesting.

You may believe you can use the time you would have spent reading a long blog post to read a handful of other shorter blog posts, but they may not be as interesting as the one you deleted because it was too long.

Take some breaks from blogging.

#blogging #bloggingbreak #tea #break
Photo by Eli Verenich on Pexels.com

As a rule, for every hour I spend on my blog or reading blogs, I take a 20-minute break.

I always come back feeling refreshed.

If I don’t get around to reading all the new blog posts in my email box, then so be it. I don’t allow myself to feel guilty for not reading them. And I certainly do not feel guilty deleting those emails without having read them. Life’s too short to worry about that.

If you don’t want to blog, it’s perfectly fine. You don’t have to.

If like me, you decide to continue with blogging (and I hope you do), the passion you had for coming to the blogging world in the first place will grow and put you back on the right blogging track.

Let’s keep blogging a fun and enjoyable experience.

What about you?

  • Have you ever found yourself feeling guilty or stressed out because of blogging?
  • Are you somebody who keeps apologising because you’ve not been able to spend as much time as you like reading and commenting on posts?
  • What do you do to get over feeling guilty or stressed out by blogging?

Join the discussion by leaving me a comment that I can respond to with more than just a ‘thank you.’

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Author: Hugh W. Roberts

My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom. My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my blogging tips posts. If you have any questions about blogging or anything else, please contact me by clicking on the 'Contact Hugh' button on the menu bar. Click on the 'Meet Hugh' button on the menu bar to learn more about me and my blog.

97 thoughts

  1. This is a great post, Hugh. I try to keep a good balance between writing and reading and working. Blogging can’t be work, but it can easily become that way if you’re not careful. Now I only engage on blog posts that interest me, and that feels more genuine. Since the stay-at-home, I’ve started writing 3 blog posts a week for my library job as well as running the Twitter account, so doing my own blog and social media have become a chore at times. I find when I feel that way, I stay away and don’t force it until I’m ready to go back. I think other bloggers feel the same way. It has to be fun or it’s no good!

    1. Thank you, Barbara.

      I agree with what you say. If blogging becomes a chore, then it’s time to step back and rethink how we blog, otherwise the fun and enjoyment it brings can be lost forever. If it continues to become a chore, then I think most people gave it up and move on to something else they enjoy.

  2. I don’t feel guilty or stressed out right now, but when WordPress switches its editor on June 1, I’m going to be wishnig I had followed your advice about learning it in advance. You can bet I’ll be returning to your post soon for more help!

    1. From what I read, they’re only retiring the classic editor, Michele. It’ll still be available to use, although they’ll be slowly withdrawing support for it. Therefore, any bugs or further problems with it may take a longer time to fix. At the end of this year, they’ll remove support for it completely. So, you still have some time to practice with the block editor before using it.

  3. A very wise post, Hugh. I remember you have written about this before, and I think most of us who have been blogging for a while have reached a similar point at one time or other. There are only 24 hours in a day and far too many things to do, blogs and books to read, and well, life in general. No good becoming a slave to anything and losing any enjoyment we got from it.
    Thanks, Hugh. And keep safe. ♥

    1. Yes, I wrote about this subject several years ago, Olga. Robbie’s post prompted me to revisit the topic. After reading some of the comments left on her post, I knew it was time to send out another reminder to everyone that nobody cares if you don’t read and comment on all their blog posts. Blogging should be all about the ‘fun’ and enjoyment. It should never turn into some kind of monster.

      Take care, and keep staying safe.

  4. I think I finally learned a couple of years ago that I can’t follow and read every blogger I’ve come into contact with, Hugh. As you say, many bloggers change their content to something different as time goes by, I know I did. We also should not feel obligated to read a post from someone who likes, reads, and comments on ours. While I do thank each person who’s commented, if I don’t follow their blog, I don’t click to read just to reciprocate. Great advice as usual!!

    1. Totally agree with you, Terri. It’s good to hear what you say. I hope many reading your comment take your great advice. I’ve seen too many good writers and bloggers give up their blogs because they couldn’t get over the stress and guilt of not reading and commenting on everything.

  5. Thanks for this post, Hugh. It felt like it was written just for me. I have experienced all of those feelings of guilt that mention because I have not been able to read all the blogs I want and leave meaningful comments. Your post gives me a little more confidence in being more selective with which blogs I read and comment on, as well as with how much time I spend doing such activities.

    1. I’m glad it’s helped, Jim. I think a lot of bloggers go through this ‘guilt’ and ‘stress’ feeling at some stage on their blogging journey. Nobody will care if you don’t get around to reading and commenting on all their blog posts – I promise. Now it’s time for you to put back all the fun and enjoyment into blogging and to get rid of any remaining blogging stress.

  6. Love this, Hugh. I really resonate with this, actually. I was really productive with my blog at the beginning of lockdown, and now I’m falling behind with having content pre-written and ready to post. Recently, my motivation to blog has become much lower, and I do definitely feel guilty about it. I think you have definitely made a good point about thinking, “why did I start this in the first place”. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. I’m glad my post has helped, Joanna. It’s strange, but at the bargaining of lockdown, I lost all my motivation to write and blog. Once I found out what was causing it, I soon bounced back. It seems the lockdown has affected many of us in different ways.

      Thanks so much for joining the discussion.

      1. You’re not wrong there! Fingers crossed I bounce back soon! Thanks Hugh 🙂 I look forward to reading more.

  7. Thanks you so much, Hugh, for the sound advice. I’ve felt everything you have mentioned here. I’ve learned to keep everything on a timeline. I schedule a certain time frame (quite early in the morning) to write my novel, then I switch to blogging/ marketing. Once the timeline is finished for the day, then so am I. I have two young children who need home schooling because of COVID and other responsibilities, so for me, it’s necessary to stick to a schedule. Please don’t get me wrong, I love writing and reading the works of others, but I’ve learned to set realistic limitations.

    1. Mark, I’m delighted to hear that you’ve set yourself realistic limitations for writing and blogging. When I did the same thing, I found myself being able to catch up with other stuff I enjoy doing (such as catching up on watching my boxset of five seasons of The Twilight Zone). I can’t believe that I used to feel guilty for wanting to watch a DVD instead of forcing myself to catch up on reading and leaving comments on blog posts (some of which I wasn’t particularly inserted in reading, anyway). Heavens know why I thought some of those bloggers would be upset with me if I didn’t read and comments on all their blog posts.

      I get to a point in the day when I know I’ve had enough with reading, writing and blogging. Sometimes, that time comes early in the day, other times, it may be late afternoon before it sets in. However, now, when it does come, I switch off the computer and go and do something else.

  8. Another great read and very useful information Hugh! I am currently on a blogging break for a week or so and just dipping in and out as the mood takes me. As you know it works well to help keep us fresh. I don’t feel guilty!

    I do try to keep a lid on the number of blogs I follow and am in need of a purge I think. When I start deleting emails without reading the post then I know something isn’t working.

    I agree with your advice and I too wish I’d read something like this earlier in my blogging journey. It’s a case of we can only do what can, I never want to feel too stressed by it all. Thanks for taking the time to address this issue and sharing your thoughts.

    1. Thank you, Debbie. And thank you for reading and leaving your comment while on your current break from blogging. I read why you’re taking a break and hope all is well.

      I don’t mind deleting new blog post emails notifications. For me, if the title of a blog posts doesn’t interest me, then I’m more likely to move on to the next one. This freed up a lot of time for me as I found myself not reading blog posts that didn’t really interest me. It took away the burden of trying to keep up with reading and commenting. Likewise, I now only leave a comment if I have more than a few sentences that add value to the post I’ve read. This has made managing comments far easier for me. I’ve moved away from leaving comments where all the person I’ve left the comment for can say ‘thank you.’

      Thanks so much for joining the discussion. The comments have been amazing.

  9. A great reminder Hugh. Like you, and many others I have had lots of “learning experiences” on my blogging journey. In the beginning, it was so exciting to get new followers, and I always popped over to their blogs to read and comment. At one time I followed a lot of blogs! These days I follow those that resonate with me, and bring me joy. I love to leave comments as I know how much they mean to others, but I keep it manageable. It makes me smile to see repeated likes from others who obviously never read my posts.
    Long posts are not a favourite of mine, but if they a broken up with good headings, bullet points, pictures… I will spend time reading them.

    1. Managing comments can cause some bloggers concern, Brigid. It’s one of the reasons why I now only leave comments that are at least a couple of sentences long and which add some value to the post I’ve read. I much rather leave a few long comments than hundreds of short comments that add no value whatsoever to what I’ve read or which don’t give the author of the posts any valuable feedback. I agree that all bloggers love comments, but I’m not so sure about comments that say little or don’t prove the post was read. I find it so challenging to try and respond to comments where all I can really say is ‘thank you.’

      I’m not a fan of the ‘like’ button, as I’ve discovered that some readers press it without even reading the post. Some say it’s to show support to the blogger, but I find that hard to understand when they’ve not even read the post. I agree that not all readers do this, but I believe adding the occasional comment is far more valuable to many bloggers.

      I don’t mind reading long posts, so long as they keep me interested. Many bloggers write them because SEO engines such as Gooogle and Bing rate long posts a lot better than short posts. So those bloggers looking for more traffic to their blog are better off writing longer posts.

      Thanks so much for joining in the discussion.

  10. Blogging did get stressful for me when I was working and just couldn’t face sitting down to write at the end of a long day. I had to learn to let go of posting multiple times a week and to accept some weeks I might only manage one new piece of content. Taking the occasional blogging break is something I know people have done when other aspects of life have to take priority.

    My other stress busting tactic was to stop email notifications of new blog content. I’ve moved to Feedly where it’s much easier to skim posts and select what interests me.

    1. I’m glad to hear you successfully went through the learning process of getting rid of the stress blogging was causing you, Karen. It’s good to see that you’re still blogging and did not become a victim of the stress blogging can cause so many bloggers. Finding the right balance can be hard to accept and find, but it’s a must thing to do if we want to continue blogging without the guilt and stress taking the fun out of it.

      I’m also a firm believer in taking blogging breaks. I’ve taken several over the years I’ve been blogging, and all have done me a lot of good. I always return feeling refreshed and ready to get on with more blogging.

      Feedly is something I’ve heard a lot of good things about.

  11. Thank you for this response to Robbie’s post, Hugh. It took a while, but I no longer follow a blog just because they’ve followed me. That’s helped ease the stress load. I also dropped from posting every week to every other week. I find this gives me a good balance between creating my own content and responding to the content of others. Even though I may feel stressed sometimes at needing to “keep up,” I have been inspired by countless bloggers to expand my own fiction, poetry, and reading in ways I never would have imagined.

    1. I’m glad to hear that you’ve cut back on the number of blog posts you write and publish from once a week to once a fortnight, Liz. I’m a firm believer in the quality of content being at its best when a writer has taken time to write it instead of writing something and publishing it straight away. I don’t know about you, but I can often tell the difference between content that’s been rushed and content where the writer has taken their time to write it.

      Try and get away from making yourself feel stressed for not being able to keep up with all the new blog posts being published. Nobody cares if you don’t read and leave comments on all their content. And if you do ever encounter somebody that does, then it’s worth seriously thinking about unfollowing their blog and removing the negativity and stress they’re causing to you and others.

      1. I never publish a blog post right after I’ve drafted it. I always let the draft “rest” for a few days before going back to review it and finalize it.

        I expect that you’re right about no one caring if I’m not able to keep up with all the new blog posts being posted. The blogs I follow are by good, caring people.

  12. Reblogged this on Robbie's inspiration and commented:
    A few weeks ago, I wrote a post asking my readers how you cope with blogging and whether you had any tips about managing your blog. Hugh Robert’s of Hughsviewsandnews blog has written a useful and helpful response to my question.

  13. Oh yes, this was a good reminder. Just yesterday, I deleted a whole batch of unread emails notifying me of new blog posts. I don’t follow everyone who follows me but I do follow some that post every day. That’s just too much for me. So I’ve started to be selective about which of their posts I read. And I only comment when I think I have something worthwhile to contribute. And I don’t even follow that many!! Due to life circumstances right now, I have to let go of a few blogging activities and I feel better about that after reading your post. Thanks so much!

    1. I’m so pleased this post has helped you feel better about having to let go of some blogging activities. There’s nothing to feel guilty about when we have to do it. Blogging should always be a fun and enjoyable experience.

  14. Agree with it all. Of course we all enjoy blogging, both reading and writing. And not every post is for everyone just like not every book is for everyone. When we’re not in the mood, just don’t force it. Perfect advice. 🙂 x

    1. Thank you, Debby. I no longer force myself to write or read if I’m not in the mood for doing it. Making yourself to do something you don’t really want to do, takes all the enjoyments away.

  15. It feels horrible not being able to read and respond to every blog that arrives in my mailbox. I do the same as you, I go to their about page to see if it’s something I would read. If not, sadly I don’t follow back.

    How do I end up with lots of unknown blogs in my email inbox?

    1. I used to feel like you when not being able to read and comment on all those new blog posts, but I don’t think anybody really cares if I don’t read and comment on everything they publish. If they did, I don’t think I’d be following them. Don’t allow it to spoil your enjoyment of blogging.

      You’ve probably (at some point) either subscribed to receiving emails from those blogs you don’t know or left a comment on one of their posts and clicked on an email that asks you if you want to subscribe to receive further comments (including a reply to your comment). Unfortunately, when clicking ‘yes’ on some of those emails, it also subscribes you to following the blog and receiving notifications of new blog posts. The only way of removing them is to go to the area on your blog where you can manage the blogs you follow and unsubscribe from there. It’s happened to me a few times, and I don’t like how some of these emails are set up when leaving a comment. In fact, I don’t then leave any further comments, so it’s their loss (rather than mine).

      I hope that helps.

      1. Brilliant, thanks, as always Hugh. Right, I’m taking all that on board.
        Sometimes I like or comment on someone’s blog and then I started getting emails. I was reading all the blogs, but it’s exhausting.
        I also see some bloggers have 200+ likes and lots of comments so they probably wouldn’t miss my tuppence worth anyway.

        Right, I’m going to go thro my reader thingy and unsubscribe to some.

        Thank you so much Hugh, for taking the time to respond. Caz x

  16. Hugh, your post about blogging are always eye opening and food for thought. I love blogging. I think breaks are important. But I have always struggled to read blogs. But it is important to engage with bloggers it part of blogging, especially on wordpress.com, otherwise pick another platform like wix or square space I say.

    Great post as always

    1. Thank you, Bella. I used to struggle with reading too many blogs, but if I now do not get around to reading any, then so be it. I no longer allow it to make me feel guilty for not reading any. It doesn’t happen that often, but at least I now no longer allow it to burden me.

      Engagement with both your readers and other bloggers is important, although only when what you say is adding value to a conversation or discussion. It’s one of the reasons why I prefer to leave a few longer comments, rather than lots and lots of short comments that add no value at all.

  17. I think you’re wise to be honest. You know what you want to read and what is a waste of your time. It doesn’t mean the blogger doesn’t know that they’re doing – it’s just not your cup of tea. Probably is a good idea for every blogger to let followers know what sort of content they prefer to read (which I admit I haven’t done but as usual you’ve given me a good idea.)

  18. Hi Hugh, thanks for this great post which approaches the topic I raised from a different angle. I was actually looking for advice, such as you have included in this post, as to the best approach to dealing with my blog and blogging. I like your advice and do follow it to a large extent. I accept that I cannot read and comment on every post by everyone I follow. The posts I do read, I read properly, regardless of length. This is me, I have noticed that many of my followers prefer my shorter posts with lots of photographs. I limit the time I spend blogging as I have a lot of other things I must do in a day, writing being one and my day job also being important. My conundrum is that I enjoy so many blogs. I like to read their content and I like to converse with the blogger via the comments. That is my personal challenge and that is the one I address through alphabetising my emails and going through them by blogger. I may only read one post, but I read it properly and with thought and I always leave a comment.

    1. I’m glad to hear that you accept that you can’t read and comment on every blog post of the blogs you follow, Robbie. It’s something I know many bloggers feel guilty for not doing, yet nobody really expects them to read and leave comments on every post.

      Likewise, I enjoy many blogs, but not always everything they publish. The title of a blog post really has to stand out to get me interested. That’s why the blog post you wrote got me wanting to read more. I know I may be missing out on other great blog posts that may not have good titles, but it’s something I often bring up on my blog to my readers. The title of a blog post is so important and is often the difference between thousands of readers and just a few.

      I only leave comments if I have something of value to add. Some bloggers feel just as guilty for not leaving a comment as they do for not reading a post, but it should never matter.

      Thanks again for the inspiration to write this post.

        1. I did, Robbie. Some of the comments on your post made for fascinating reading. I hope some of those who left comments get to read this post. I hate the thought of anybody feeling guilty for not being able to read and comment on all the blog posts of the blogs they follow.

    2. Robbie, I struggle with keeping up with the reading of blogs too. I started of using the email noticing as my trigger to read . Then I moved to the reader. Now I use both methods. But may fully return to email.

      But, I have to Robbie you achieve so much in a day with all you have on in your life, I am always impressed.

  19. You have some excellent suggestions, Hugh. I am amazed by those who write something each day or even several posts on the same day. If that works for others, more power to them. I’m good about writing a post once every week or ten days, and that works for me. I consider blogging a hobby, and viewing it that way seems to take off all the pressure. I do admit investing some time each day, but as I always tell my wife, “As soon as it stops being fun, I’ll find something else to take its place.”

    1. I’ve seen some bloggers who saw blogging as a hobby suffer from the guilt and stress I outlined in this post, Pete. I’m glad it’s never affected you because many bloggers and writers often give up blogging altogether when they can’t get over that guilt.

      And you’re so right in what you say about giving up blogging when it stops being fun. However, I hope the fun never leaves your world of blogging.

  20. Hey Hugh, Thanks for bringing this up. I have lived with this guilt for long. Finally i have made peace with it and stick to an hour of reading blogs every day and publishing one blog every Friday routine. When I read, I pick and choose the bloggers who I connect the most with. If I miss one of their posts, I go back to their site and make sure to read and comment on it. I don’t have a huge follower list and I don’t follow too many people. If someone I follow posts daily, I don’t read it everyday. I read one of their posts every week. So I have made peace with that guilt and unrest that I used to have until recently.
    I love reading your posts.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear that you lived with the guilt I described in this post for such a long time, Deepa. However, it’s good to hear that you managed to free yourself from all the guilt and find that perfect blogging balance.

      Thank you for reading my blog posts. I’m delighted that you enjoy reading them.

      Take care.

  21. This is a great post, Hugh. Like you say, most people feel guilty or stressed out about blogging sometimes. I find I compartmentalize my reading and commenting on posts. I am often not an immediate responder. Readers often pour a piece of themselves, part of their heart and soul into posts. I want to do them justice. I want to read posts when my mind is fresh, clear and I can appreciate their words.

    You bring up a very good point, on when does that leave us time to write? And the important “Why?” We did begin blogging because we enjoy writing. How do we cut up the pie with time management?

    Thank you, Hugh. Lots of gems, as always. Take care.

    1. Same here, Erica. Sometimes, it can take me weeks to get to a blog post and leave a comment. I also like reading all the other comments left on the post, as they often spark ideas for new blog posts. Robbie’s post is a prime example of that.

      I think many bloggers and writers suffer when they find themselves on the slippery slope of feeling guilty for not reading and leaving comments on all the blogs they follow. It’s often the case that their own writing then suffers because of the problem in trying to keep up. I soon taught myself that I didn’t have to read everything; just the stuff that I was interested in. That freed up a lot of time to get on with my writing.

      I’m glad this post has helped so many of you. Thanks so much for joining the discussion, Erica.

      1. Thank you for your response, Hugh. I do feel a little guilty when I take awhile to respond sometimes. You are the blogging guru, so I appreciate when this also happens to you.🙂 And, yes, helped many of us. Take care.

  22. Good post, Hugh. I took some of the reading and commenting pressure off by changing from email reminders to scrolling through the Reader. This way, I can decide which posts interest me without the pressure of answering emails. I like to start my day with a cup of coffee :), answering comments on my own blog, and then reading some (not all) of the posts from the blogging community.
    If I can’t comment on all, I’m sorry, but life beckons and frankly, I’m getting electronic burnout.

    1. Never apologise for not leaving comments on all the blog posts you read, Jacquie. I may have enjoyed reading a post, but if I have nothing to add that is of any value, then I don’t leave a comment. I don’t think any bloggers expect somebody to leave comments on all their posts, although I do see some bloggers doing so, those comments generally don’t add any value to the post at all.

  23. I’m not entirely sure why anyone who doesn’t enjoy it would keep on blogging. It isn’t like there are big bucks to be made here on WordPress (my blog is monetized, but I pay more for the WP membership than I make each year). Also, people come and go on here so often that it can sometimes be hard to keep up long-term relationships.

    1. I think you answered another question, Maranda, as to why so many people come and go in the blogging world. I think many of those people will have got themselves stressed out by the whole experience, especially so when they don’t get any engagement on their blog posts, or they don’t see their follower numbers grow.

  24. Hi Hugh, Your advice here is right on. If an activity is causing us more stress than fun, we should take a step back, review and consider making changes. So far blogging has been a leisure and fun activity for me. I don’t get stressed out about writing a post, reading other blogs, or leaving comments.

  25. You’re absolutely right: if blogging becomes a chore, or a drain on your time, you should question why you do it. I have also followed back bloggers who have followed me, but it quickly becomes clear whether or not we will have any kind of ongoing blogging relationship. I’m much more circumspect these days, but I’ll admit there are times when I’m scrolling through the reader and realise that there are many blogs there that I rarely read. Similarly, I don’t like to feel that I’m under pressure to post at any given time: my current series of Tuesday Tunes is as close as I’ve ever got to that. It feels right for me, which is something we should all be able to say.

    1. If it feels right, then carry on and do it, Clive. I used to run a weekly photography challenge on my blog, but I got so overwhelmed with it, that I knew when the right time was to finish it. In fact, over the six years I’ve been blogging, I’ve started many a feature, only to allow them to come to their natural end.

      And don’t ever feel guilty for not visiting all those blogs in your WP reader. It’s a sure way of getting on that slippery slope I once found myself on. Not a nice place to be, but I’m glad I managed to pull myself up and change the direction of the way I blogged.

      1. My blog is littered with the aftermath of things that seemed a good idea at the time: as you say, what matters is knowing when to end them.

        If I ever do find myself entertaining fleeting moments of guilt I can quickly brush them aside with the thought that their authors probably follow me too, but don’t read my posts either!

        1. What helped me get rid of some the stress I was experiencing with blogging, was unfollowing those blogs I wasn’t reading and knew I’d never visit again.

  26. Great advice Hugh. Many of these points I practise and they have helped with blogging stress. I only read posts that interest me. If I like a post it means I’ve read it, but I only comment if I have something to say, I don’t feel I have to. I quit feeling guilty if I don’t have time to write and publish a post.

    1. All great to hear, Kathy. I’m glad to hear you don’t feel guilty for not wanting or being able to blog. I’m also with you with regards only leaving a comment if I have something of value to add. I see too many comment sections filled with the type of comments that would be better taken offline, especially when they have nothing to do with the subject of the post.

  27. I think the main problem with WordPress is that most people on here are Writers first and readers second. It would be nice to find a wider audience of readers but I’m not sure how you go about that, short of publishing a book. So while I may publish my weekly blog so that other people can read it (or not, as many of my posts are too long), my predominant purpose is to write and enjoy the creative process. I have fun with my posts, as they’re usually about something that interests me and I like to take pretty pictures to accompany them. I don’t even care about accumulating followers anymore although in my first year I was concerned with that. (I’m on year three now). But lately with a dearth of topics to write about due to COVID and being busy working on another project, I’ve been at a crossroads…..so I’ve given myself permission to coast with Wordless Wednesdays and book reviews and such and take a bit of a break. I’m definitely not putting as much effort into it at the moment….esp. as the weather has gotten warmer. As for word count – as a newbie blogger I was advised by a more experienced blogger to keep my posts under 500 words – I find it annoying when people point out a post is too long – if you don’t want to read it then don’t! Would you not read a book if it’s too long? You might if it wasn’t interesting. If it’s good, you don’t notice and sometimes don’t want it to end. If your passion is to write then write!

    1. I love the discussion you’ve added to this subject and post, Joni.

      There are lots of ways to attract readers who aren’t necessarily writers. I’ve written about the subject a few times, but the most essential point is to write and publish content that people will enjoy reading. Not everyone will like what we write, but we should never concern ourselves with that. It would be a dull world if we all enjoyed the same things in life.

      I’m delighted to read that you enjoy the whole creative process of drafting your posts. It sounds to me as if you take time writing them, which I believe is one of the most critical elements of writing. We should never rush something and publish it straight away as if we’re up against time. For me, that takes the whole enjoyment out of writing.

      I think most bloggers go through their first year with putting accumulating followers as their number one priority. However, as time goes on, most realise that the followers are attracted to good quality content, although we should also help that content by sharing it on social media. Networking with other bloggers is also a great way to get ourselves, and our content noticed.

      It’s good to hear that you’ve also given yourself a bit of a break on the number of blog posts you’re writing and publishing. Many bloggers get told to publish at least once a day, but some bloggers are not at ease with that. It can often overwhelm a blogger who then goes on to write and publishing poor quality content.

      I’m not sure why you were told to keep blog posts to under 500 words. SEOs such as Google and Bing, give priority to longer blog posts, especially those over 1500 words. My guess is that they told you 500 because many readers try reading within a short time frame. Myself, I don’t see the point in skimming over something quickly. For me, that takes away the whole enjoyment of reading.

      Thanks again for your comments. They were very interesting to read.

      1. Thanks Hugh…..I only publish once a week, but put time and effort into my posts, often working on them the week before, and sometimes they top 3000 words. I could never be one of those bloggers who publish every day as words do not flow that easily for me, as I have a science background, not arts or literature or journalism as many bloggers who are more natural writers do. I have to edit a lot. But I enjoyed writing in high school and having retired a few years ago, thought I would pick it up again. As for acquiring more readers through social media, my blog is anonymous, for various reasons, so that’s kind of hard to do!

        1. That makes sense why you don’t do social media if your blog is anonymous, Joni. There are lots of other ways we can promote our blogs for free, and you’ve done one of them just by leaving a comment that adds value to my post.

          Thanks again for joining the discussion.

  28. I used to be quite happy blogging about three times a week but this covid business has left me with more time and I have upped it to once a day. However my blogs used to be almost all writing related and now I find myself just putting down my thoughts. I don’t know if this will mean I gain or lose followers. I only have a handful who comment regularly and that is great as they feel like friends. Otherwise I just check titles and leave those that don’t inspire me unread. I feel no need to read all of them and no guilt about blogging or not blogging. Every now and then I find somebody new and that is fine.

    1. I don’t think it matters if you gain or lose followers because you’ve increased the number of blog posts you write and publish, Julie. You may find that your visitor stats grow, but so long as you are enjoying what you’re doing and it’s not impacting on the enjoyment you get out of blogging, then it sounds to me as if you’re still in the perfect balance even in the current times we all find ourselves in. That’s great to hear.

  29. Hi, Hugh – This post is a ‘must-read’ for every blogger. I wish that I had read it earlier in my blogging journey. Your advice here is spot on. Asking yourself ‘why’ you blog (and why you began blogging in the first place), is an important question. Taking a Blogging Break to reflect, refresh, renew and reset has made a huge difference for me.

    1. I too, have benefited from taking blogging breaks, Donna. They certainly helped me come back to blogging with a new lease of life.

      I’m glad this post will be of some help. Every day I read and see evidence of bloggers who are getting themselves stressed out with blogging (sometimes through no fault of their own). It can be a slippery slope down, but at least there is way back up and a way to never find ourselves on that slippery slope again.

  30. I think the question of ‘why’ we do anything is key. I started blogging because people seemed to want to know the story of my photos. I’m primarily a photographer and would consider myself a so-so writer. But, I found a side benefit to blogging, it cause me to this kid more about my photography as I wrote about the photo, it also has a become a journal for me, as I find myself looking back at my own posts. One of my concerns has been that if I don’t post on some regular cadence, I will loose my audience, which I have since found to be wholly untrue as I have had very few in-follows except for those who are simply follow farming and are just looking for a follow back.

    Like you, follow only bloggers in who’s words or images I am truly interested. I may skim occasionally but do try to return my time and effort to those who have done the same for me.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Ed. They make interesting reading.

      I’m glad you got over the myth that by not publishing new blog posts every day, you would then lose followers. I’ve seen that reason mentioned many times before, and all it does is put somebody under pressure to produce content that often loses its quality. I’m a firm believer that content is king, and that if a reader likes it, then they will follow and maybe even engage with the author of the content.

      ‘Number hunters’ as I call them, are not worth worrying about. They are often too busy collecting numbers than reading blog posts and leaving good quality comments on them that will attract other readers to their own blog.

      Thanks again for joining the discussion.

  31. Interesting post. How many hours a day do you spend blogging and reading blogs??
    I stress a little because I craft my posts to be funny but don. time myself. Although I spend less than an hour a day reading blogs. I pick what might be interesting from the titles and what I know are pictures, or poems.
    Stay well and Laugh

    1. Thanks for your question. It varies for me. Some days, I may spend as much as 4 hours blogging, whereas on other days I don’t spend any time blogging at all. I seldom blog at the weekends. Most of my posts are written over at least 7 days, although if I’m happy with something, then I’ll publish it straight away. What I never do is think I’m up against time to write and publish something as if I’m on a deadline. I see far too much of that happening, and it can spoil what would have otherwise been a great read.

      You too. Stay safe.

  32. You must have been reading my mind. I’ve been thinking about quitting … which is kind of strange considering that thanks to Covid I have more time than ever 🙂

    1. I think the COVID situation has caused problems for many writers to write (including myself). I’m glad I found what it was that was blocking my creative mine.

      You sound as if you’re at a crossroads that I (and many others) have found themselves at during their blogging journey. Whatever choice you make, I’m sure it’ll be the right one for you, Aimer. It may take you a while to make up your mind, but go with which route is best for you.

  33. 🙂 Thanks for another lovely topic, Hugh.

    I do not get stressed about blogging because I chose a reasonable blogging schedule for myself; which is publishing content on my blog on a weekly basis.

    For the record, I would publish additional blog posts during the week if I got the strong urge to do so.

    I genuinely believe that too many bloggers are trying to force themselves to publish blog posts every day.

    The truth is that there are those people who can do it with ease, while there are those who cannot.

    1. You’re welcome, Renard.

      I agree entirely with what you say about those you can blog every day with ease and those that can not. I think many bloggers fall into the trap of believing they have to write and publish blog posts every day because it’s what they’re told to do or what they read. At the end of the day, we should blog when we feel like doing it, and we should never force ourselves to do it.

  34. You may remember Hugh that I went through that terrible, stressful time with blogging feeling the guilt when unable to read everybody’s blogs or just keeping up with everything involved with blogging. I nearly gave it all up, but you offered me some fabulous advice at the time which, as you say here in this post was, “Remember why you started blogging and take a step back”. I remember reading that and breathing a sigh of relief. That one piece of advice, that one sentence, helped me put everything into perspective and I am much more focussed and more relaxed about the whole ‘blogging’ world. I will always be grateful for that solid piece of advice Hugh, in fact I often think about it in other aspects of my life too – Thank you 🙂

    1. That’s wonderful, Sam. I’m so pleased that what I said stuck with you. In fact, I have a few memories of either events or what was told to me that stuck in my mind and which have helped me out ever since. I’m glad you never gave up blogging, but I can see why you were thinking about doing it. You’re a great example of how to change the way we blog and to bring back the fun and enjoyment again.
      There should never be any pressures in the blogging world. We should choose to do it as and when we feel like it. That could be every day or just once a week, but it should never make us feel stressed or feel guilty because we do it that way.

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